Brief: Secretary candidate Cheung ’11 violates YCC Election Code with stickers on News

One day into the start of voting in this year’s Yale College Council Executive Board elections, and the first campaign violation came in the form of a sticker.

Many students heading to breakfast Monday morning picked up copies of the News tagged with a bright yellow sticker in the top-right corner of the front page.

“Be happy, vote Abby!” the stickers read.

Those stickers, a violation of Section 5, Article L of the YCC’s Elections Code, earned secretary candidate Abigail Cheung ’11 more than just a slap on the wrist: Elections Committee co-Chair Aniket Shah ’09 said the committee decided Monday night to revoke Cheung’s campaign e-mail privileges between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Cheung did not respond to repeated requests for comment Monday night.

But the stickers were only part of the story. Cheung was also cited for distributing copyrighted material on dozens of CDs placed on residential-college dining halls. The burned CDs contained songs by popular artists.

“The reason this is wrong is this is actually illegal,” Shah said. “You can’t distribute music that’s not for personal use or for friends and family.”

Cheung was asked to recover all the burned CDs and denied further use of her “innovative-spending” rights. By YCC Elections Code, each candidate can use $60 of his or her own money on publicity techniques beyond postering and e-mails, as long as the method is cleared by the Elections Committee chair.

In this case, Shah said, the committee had approved the use of CDs but not the content.

As for the stickers, the committee decided the act represented a defacement of publicity for another candidate, in this case that of secretary candidate Jasper Wang ’10. Wang, whose endorsement by the News’ editorial board ran in Monday’s paper, said he was frustrated that students who would have read of his support in the morning’s paper could not do so because the papers had been thrown out.

Shah said the committee interpreted the Elections Code, “Tampering: Damaging, removing, or defacing other candidates’ publicity is strictly prohibited,” in light of the fact that stickered papers, laid out across tables in multiple dining halls and consequently thrown out by dining-hall workers, represented a removal or defacement of publicity that would have gone to Wang.

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